5 Examples of How Social Determinants of Health are Being Used to Improve Wellbeing

“Social determinants of health” (SDoH) are much discussed in medical facilities and managed care companies these days. According to Healthy People 2020, SDoH are “the conditions in which people are born, live, learn, work, play, worship, and age, which affect one’s health, functioning, and quality-of-life outcomes.” Highly-cited statistics state that SDoH impacts up to 90…

Make Every Minute Count – Getting More From Your Doctor Visits

Most people have felt rushed during a doctor’s visit. Maybe you’ve had a quick visit that ended with you feeling lost and not fully understanding your diagnosis, tests, or treatment plan. By communicating better, you can maximize what little time you have in the office. Most family physicians allow 15 minutes for each visit –…

How Much Will Medical and Drug Price Transparency Help?

The truth is that there is no clear and concise way to explain how hospitals determine prices and negotiate with individual insurance companies. What you end up paying out of pocket has little to do with what price hospitals charge your insurer and more to do with the way that your insurance plan is built…

Making Sense of Medicare

Medicare is extraordinarily complex, and the rules seem to change all of the time. However, learning to make smart choices can save individuals a lot of money and unnecessary stress, and can mean better healthcare in some circumstances. whatthewell medicare newsletter This newsletter covers basic information regarding Medicare options; for more in-depth knowledge, I recommend…

Free Handout: Understanding Health Insurance

 More than 50% of Americans are unable to understand the complicated materials provided by insurers and the medical explanations offered by healthcare professionals. When people avoid medical care because they don’t know why it’s needed or are fearful of the potential costs, their delay in care leads to the development and exacerbation of chronic conditions. This…

Safety Trivia for Your Wellness Program

When people hear the term “safety,” they usually think of dramatic situations or emergency preparedness and many only picture toddlers and older individuals. The truth is that accidents happen at every age; to err is to be human, but a little foresight can go a long way in preventing some of these mishaps. No matter…

Why Won’t “Biggest Loser” Contests Die Already?

I have always hated “Biggest Loser” style contests, and yet they remain one of the most-requested wellness campaigns. To be clear, this is what we are trying to replicate in the name of health: After the first season, participants confessed to resorting to extreme dehydration to lose weight and the winner, Ryan Benson, told The New York Times that…

“Research” Doesn’t Mean “Unquestionably True”

I like to hear people talk about how obesity wasn’t a problem until everyone started eating low-fat foods. That would be a super intriguing theory if anyone ever consumed a low-fat diet, but they didn’t. In fact, we are eating 20% more fat that we did in 1970. We are also eating 30% more grain…

Making Sense of Nutrition Content and Cost of Food

I often hear people complain that “healthy” food is too expensive. Often, packaged food that is marketed as “better for you” than cheaper alternatives scarily offers no real benefit. The cost of fruits and vegetables will add up if you’re trying to eat them in addition to your regular meals. Making them part of your…

Wellness Whac-A-Mole

  Given enough time and access to the necessary programs and calculators, you could discover how likely you are to have a heart attack in the next few years, how much your estimated medical expenses are for 2018, and what your life expectancy is. You could collect a lot of numbers in ink on paper…